We Create Our Reality

We create our reality.  Where we are right now in our lives is an amalgamation of our thoughts our choices.  It starts with thoughts, and then we make choices or don’t make choices, we take roads or veer down other paths.  But those choices and those roads have lead us directly to where we are today.  So the question is are you where you want to be?  Are you doing the things that you want to do, the things that make you happy?  If so, great! Celebrate that.  But if not, why aren’t you?  Are you too scared, too worried, too afraid of going down that path and not knowing what will happen?  The thing is you’ll never know unless you try.  You’ll just be stuck in this stagnant life that you don’t want, feeling that is somehow better than taking that leap and going for your dreams.  You don’t have to blow your life apart to get what you want.  You can take it one small step at a time if that’s what it takes.  But take those small steps.  Be willing to make the choice to follow your dreams, even if they are outrageously huge, by breaking them down into little bite size pieces so that you can go slowly if you need to.  But if you look back on your life, you can see the choices you made, the things you didn’t do, the roads you didn’t travel, and you can see why you are where you are right now.  So if you truly want to be somewhere else, take the fork in the road, take even a small Leap of Faith, and head towards your dreams.

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Learning from Treehouses

Ever since I remember I wanted to live in a treehouse.  I guess it all started with Swiss Family Robinson.  Who didn’t see that show and long for a house with multiple rooms up in the trees with swinging bridges attaching them.  It was every kids fantasy.  Then you grow up and realize you’ll have to scale that down a bit, to maybe a single room fort.  Then the next thing you know you’re dreaming about building a treehouse for your little one, because you just never got around to it when you were a kid.  But there are lessons to be learned from building treehouses, that most people don’t ever think about or see.

Treehouses in this day and age can be anything you want them to be.  They can be as simple as a fort or as complex as a 2 bedroom 1 bath suite.  So the first lesson, is let your imagination take hold and let the “Swiss Family Robinson” in you out.  As long as you can dream it, an architect can probably design it, so dare to dream about everything you want in a treehouse.  Do you want a porch that surrounds the entire thing that is big enough to hold chairs for you to sit and watch the sunset at night with potted plants hanging down around you?  If so, go for it.  Do you want a 1/2 bath inside with a composting toilet and a covered outdoor shower, that too is possible.  Lesson #1 Let Yourself Dream.

All of what you dream depends on the second lesson, you have to choose the right site.  Choosing the site to build your treehouse is of utmost importance.  It, for obvious reasons, needs to adhere to city and state regulations, but also needs to be atmospheric.  Have the picture window facing the west to see the setting sun, or have a room with a south view and lots of natural light if you are wanting an artist retreat.  You also have to make sure you have the right kind of trees for the construction of your treehouse.  Lesson #2 Be In the Right Place at the Right Time.

Next if you are going big, you need to know that you will need multiple trees.  And you need to build in such a way that allows the trees to bend and sway in the wind carrying your treehouse with it instead of smashing it to smithereens.  Spreading the weight over multiple trees makes the treehouse like a sail in the wind.  It is also important to leave gaps around the branches for the growth and movement of the tree.  Lesson #3 Be Flexible.

The floor, however, needs to be level.  So no matter how many trees you use, unless you are making multiple rooms with bridges in between, the floor itself needs to be level.  Lesson #4 Have a Solid Foundation.

And last but not least, not everything needs to be built in the air.  Build portions of your treehouse down on the ground and then hoist it up and get it in place piece by piece. Lesson #5 Take the Time To Do It Right and Don’t Be In a Rush

So that’s my treehouse wisdom.  Hopefully one day I will have a treehouse of my own.

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Real Metamorphosis

I was reading this book called Twelve By Twelve; A One Room Cabin Off the Grid and Beyond the American Dream, by William Powers, and was reading about what really goes on to a caterpillar and I’d like to show that here…

“Really, we’ve got the story wrong.  We imagine the caterpillar, knowing that it is time, goes to sleep in its womblike cocoon and wake up a smiley, happy butterfly.  That’s not what happens.  As biologist Elisabet Sahtouris explains, the caterpillar devotes its life to hyper-consumption, greedily eating up nature’s bounty.  Then it attaches itself to a twig, like the one on the deer fence, and encases itself in chrysalis.  Once inside, crisis strikes; its body partially liquifies into broth.

Yet perhaps guided by an inner wisdom, what Sahtouris call “organizer cells” go around rounding up their fellow cells to form “imaginal buds.”  These multicellular buds begin to bloom into an entirely new organism but not without resistance.  The caterpillar’s immune system still functions and thinks that the imaginal buds are a virus and attacks them.

But the imaginal buds resist – and ultimately prevail – because they link together, cooperatively, to become a beautiful butterfly, which lives lightly, regenerates life through pollinating flowers, and migrates over vast distances, exploring life in ways that would have been incomprehensible to the caterpillar.”

Metamorphosis isn’t easy, I don’t think it was ever meant to be.  Becoming who you were meant to be, changing yourself, making the tough decisions, none of that is easy.  But it is worth it.  In the end metamorphosis is worth it for the caterpillar and it is worth it for you.  Make the changes necessary to be who you were meant to be.  Follow your passions.  Take your Leap of Faith.


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Taking Some Me Time

Has anyone ever told you it’s okay to take some “me” time?  Maybe they have and maybe they haven’t.  With the holidays, which is always hectic for me with extended family and kids going to 3 sets of grandparents it can be hard to get the times right.  Plus there is work to fit it and when you are a server at a restaurant you don’t get time off for good behavior you get to work your ass off with no time off because it’s the holidays.  And just when the holidays are over and the slow down begins I got a promotion.  They asked me to train to be a supervisor, which is good it meant more money (sometimes), and lots more responsibility.  So I feel like I haven’t slowed down at all.  Now I’m working as a supervisor and as a server and I’m lucky to have a whole day off during the week to spend with the one kid that still lives at home, because most of the time if I do have time off he usually has to work at his job so we are like two ships passing in the night, more like roomies now then mother and son.  It’s hard to find time for me let alone time to do stuff with him since all he wants to do is play Xbox online.  But when I do get those precious days every once in a blue moon to myself I end up doing errands and cleaning the house and all the stuff that doesn’t get done because I’m working so much.  Today I have a day off.  And yes I have to go to the store because the cupboard is bare, but today I’m taking some me time for once.  I’m pampering myself with a long soothing bubble bath, giving myself a mani/pedi, and catching up on my favorite tv shows.  I deserve it.  Everyone needs “me” time; time to recharge the batteries and do something special for themselves.  Don’t forget that.  Too bad my son isn’t off, I’d take him to a movie.

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Take A Leap With a New Endeavor

Just because you aren’t awesome at something doesn’t mean you can’t try it.  If you want to try something new, Go For It!  You will never be great the first time you do it.  You will have to work at it to become better.  But eventually you will become more proficient at it.  But you will never know what you could have done if you never even give yourself the chance to get out of your comfort zone and try something new.  Take a Leap of Faith.  Let go of all your worries, let go of what other people will think of you, just take a deep breath and jump in with both feet.  It is actually really freeing to try something new and realize that it wasn’t so bad after all and that it is okay to be who you really are in front of other people.  And the possibilities are endless.  How many things have you been putting off because you thought you might look too foolish or awkward?  Start doing them!  

Remember that trust exercise you had to do where you stood with your back facing everyone and you had to fall back and let them catch you?  Well here is your chance to let the universe catch you.  Trust that everything will work out for the best and it usually does.  Just be open to what life has in store for you.  Many opportunities could be just around the corner, you just have to reach out and grab hold.

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Serendipity at Work

My son is one of the smartest people I know. He is 15 and right now he is failing 4 classes. The truth is I think he is completely bored at school. And, of course, the other problem is that he is in public school and the way they teach isn’t the way he learns. He learns by doing not by sitting in class and having people lecture to him. He’s not Sheldon Cooper smart, but if he put his mind to it, by the time he turned 16 I bet he could pass his GED and start at a junior college.

Since I wrote this paragraph we pulled him out of highschool for bullying and brought him home to homeschool online and that didn’t work out either.  He couldn’t keep up with the work and wouldn’t get help with his teachers.  Which is too bad, because as I said, the kid is amazingly smart.  So he is officially dropping out and getting his GED.

I made him sit down with me and watch Good Will Hunting, with Robin Williams and Matt Damon.  It truly is a moving story about an math prodigy who can do the most intricate math problems in his head but lives in the projects and works as a construction worker who basically is constantly getting in and out of trouble with the law.  But what I thought was amazing was when Ben Afflack’s character told him that he would give anything to have what Matt’s character had.  He could really leave and do something with his life because of how smart he was, and his wish was that one day he would go to pick him up for work and Matt’s character wouldn’t be there.  And at the end that is exactly what happened.

What is serendipitous is that our counselor had mentioned that we should watch this movie and I had recorded it thinking it was a different Robin Williams movie two days before.  I guess the universe works in mysterious ways and knew my son needed to see this movie.

When Andy is interested in a subject he is so much like me. When he likes the subject it comes easy to him, he soaks it up, and he learns as much as he can about it. For example, he loved learning about animals when he was younger.  My mom got him a huge book on animals and he has read that thing cover to cover I don’t know how many times. It’s probably 2 inches thick. And to this day you ask him about an animal in that book and he can  tell you about it. He’s the same way with baseball stats. At least he was, up until a couple years ago when he stopped paying attention to baseball. But you ask him about the stats from four years ago and he would still know the answer.

Right now he is studying for his GED and I hope that he passes and can maybe take a class or two and a community college to get his feet wet in college.  I don’t really know what life has in store for him.  He says he wants to be a veterinarian, but he doesn’t have the grades and would have to really put in a lot of effort and effort in school isn’t his strong suit.  It’s not that he couldn’t do it.  He couldn’t get straight A’s not even trying, he just simply doesn’t try.  And that is what makes it so sad.  Right now Xbox is more important than studying.  I keep telling him that he can’t earn a living playing the Xbox, but eventually he will learn.  Real life always comes knocking.  Eighteen is right around the corner.

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All Roads Aren’t Straight Lines

Have you ever looked at a road?  I mean really looked at it?  None of them are straight lines.  They may seem like we’re cruising along the open highway going 10 miles over the limit shooting straight and narrow, but really, if you were off in the distance looking at the highway you would see the twists and turns.  And every road we take has them.  There are bumps in the road and twists that come up that we never saw coming.  There are forks in there road where decisions musts be made, we can’t just continue on straight and drive through the corn field.  There are hills, some easy to get over and some steep and hard to climb but we keep pushing and we get over them to the other side and are happier for it.  Because of the sheer determination and accomplishment it took to get up the hill.  Sometimes there are detours that take us around the area we want to go, but we come to find out that the detour to us to a much better place; to the place we were meant to be.  And sometimes, especially late at night when we don’t know where we are we get lost.  We may have to turn back to where we got lost in the first place or we may decide to keep going further and see if we can find someone to help up us.  But regardless, on the road of life, we are going to make mistakes.  It’s okay to change your plans and decide to do something else or go somewhere else, but you have to keep moving forward.  If a fallen tree is in the middle of the road, find a way to drive around it if you can’t move it.  Obstacles don’t have to stop us, they have to be managed.  And yes, this was a lot of road metaphors, but it doesn’t make them any less true.  Just don’t be the guy who says “I know where I am”, stop and ask for directions.

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